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Sensory overload

Peace officers patrolled the grounds at Bethel Woods during the three-day music festival known as Mysteryland, but the crowd was totally well behaved and respectful.
TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

May 28, 2014

For something completely different, I’m tired. Aging gracefully has never been my strong suit, and when I pass a mirror these days, I wince a little and move on. As a kid, I lamented my special day (read “birthday”) being usurped by Memorial Day, since many families would head out of town, leaving me friendless on my special day. In my 20s, I was convinced that the nation was throwing a party just for me, and reveled in the fireworks and parades that honored the day I came into the world. After 30, I became blasé for a decade or two and now… well, I’m feelin’ kinda old. While many have suggested that “age is just a number,” I feel compelled to chime in that these days, “It’s a pretty big number” and weep silently, lest I seem ungrateful in response to the overwhelming flood of well-wishers, cards and emails that are still streaming in. In an effort to underscore the importance of this particular number, one of my friends from the old country (I mean California) flew in to celebrate with me and was a bit overwhelmed himself as we toured the countryside with the Wonder Dog in tow, stopping every few miles to chat with a neighbor, as they acknowledged my milestone, assuring me that the best (I mean a dirt nap) was yet to come.

While many of you were preparing to entertain and grill, I steeled myself for the event that has had Sullivan County buzzing for months—Mysteryland. Having done a bit of homework, I had already learned that the three-day music festival has been around since 1993, originated in Holland, and it has attracted hundreds of thousands of electronic music fans from all over the world, presenting a multimedia extravaganza of monumental proportions that changes with each exotic locale, as the organizers strive to imprint each new generation with global concerns and a new-age philosophy of the old adage (from my generation) of “Peace-Love-Happiness.”